Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket – Fenster der Kathedrale in Canterbury
Thomas Becket - windows of the cathedral in Canterbury

Thomas Becket, also admits as Thomas's von Canterbury or Thomas Beckett, (* 21. December 1118 in London; † 29. December 1170 in Canterbury) was English lord chancellor and from 1162 to 1170 archbishopof Canterbury.

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Thomas Becket was normannischer descent, its father was a buyer in London. Forthe occasionally found statement, its nut/mother was a Sarazenin, gives it no scientific reference points. Monks taught vintages and letters to him, he studied in Paris.

After the return of its study trip it stepped 1141 into the services of the archbishop Theobald of Canterbury. Thisencouraged it to further studies in Auxerre and Bologna. Thomas Becket studied there civil law and church right.

in the year 1154

him the archbishop from

Canterbury made lord chancellors and archbishop the murder Thomas Beckets to the ore deacon. It became one year later, probablyon the recommendation Theobalds, advisors and lord chancellor von König Heinrich II. of England. The relationship between the monarch and the lord chancellor was regarded of very many contemporaries as unusual. Often contemporaries said that both would divide a heart and an understanding.

1161 deceasedthe past archbishop Theobald of Canterbury. To 2. June 1162 was geweiht Thomas Becket to the priest and one day later received it the Bischofsweihe. Thomas Becket became the new archbishop of Canterbury and thus the Primas of England. His friend king Heinrich II. it heldfor a tactically good course to make its lord chancellor the Primas from England to. But already before Thomas and Heinrich had II. different opinions regarding the church and their rights had. Thus to the Thomas's had once openly said king that he would be, he archbishopby Canterbury, would see itself forced to oppose it.

Until end of the year 1162 had itself Thomas all Pomps gotten rid of, with which it had surrounded itself as a lord chancellor. It laid down also against the will of the king the office of the lord chancellor and worried onlystill around its new task as an archbishop of Canterbury. To 10. August 1162 was Thomas Becket barefoot before the Pope Alexander III. stepped into Rome.

A very large diversity of opinion between the king and the archbishop kindled itself at the topic of the jurisdiction over criminal clerics.Both the king and the archbishop were itself united that had to be reached through hard. But both became never united, which courts would be responsible. For Thomas this argument was a question of the principle. A cleric could in its eyes only before a church courtfor responsibility to be pulled. The controversy with the king became ever more intensive. The signing of the Constitutions OF Clarendon could not prevent Thomas, since the other bishops of England supported it not sufficiently.

At the night 13. October 1164 fled Thomas Becket to France, whereit of king Ludwig VII. one received cordially. Thomas was enough with Pope Alexander III. a request for resignation, the Pope however rejected the resignation from Thomas Becket as archbishop of Canterbury and Primas of England.

The negotiations between the king on the one and thatPope as well as the archbishop Thomas on the other side drew themselves over many years without any progress in the controversy over the jurisdiction over the Klerus were reached. In December 1170 Thomas returned to Canterbury. In the year 1170 it came because of the coronation/culminationa son of Heinrich II. again to diversities of opinion with the king.

To 29. Decembers 1170 appeared four French knights (Reginald Fitzurse, Hugh de Moreville, William de Tracey, and smelling pool of broadcasting corporations le Breton) in the cathedral of Canterbury and asked where the traitor would be. Thomas Becketthe four knights with the words “am here I, a traitor, but archbishop and a priest of God” am not to have stepped against. The four knights carried it from the cathedral, since they did not want to pour into this blood, and struck Becket outside the top of itsHead off.


holy speaking

only few years after its death by force Thomas Becket became to 21. February 1173 holy spoken (anniversary: 29. December). This might in particular on the intervention duchess Mathildes, the wife Heinrichs of the lion,Pope Alexander III. to lead back its. Mathilde was a daughter Heinrichs II. from England and Thomas Becket with security knew personally. The intervention followed a turn in their relation to Becket, carried out in the entire angevinischen king family of the Plantagenets. Since then Heinrich II. during its bus course after Canterbury 1174 Thomas Becket as its personal protection patron praised, the admiration of the holy one was everywhere established and with pictures publicised.


in the Braunschweiger cathedral are Reliquien of the martyr in the head of one crux nigra, probably the Imervard cross, proven, because such becomespecified in an inventory register Reliquienschätze saved originating from the year 1312 there. When exactly the Becket Reliquien came to Braunschweig, is unknown, however one assumes these soon after the Kanonisation Beckets, at the latest however after Heinrichs II. Bus course in July 1174 together with BiblicalReliquien, with which they were kept together, the way into the city Heinrichs of the lion found. In the so-called coronation/culmination picture in the Evangeliar Heinrichs of the lion, which probably developed around 1188, is Thomas Becket under that the Braunschweiger cathedral and the pair of dukes particularly important holy one to see directly over father and grandmother duchess Mathildes, Heinrich II. and the queen Mathilde. With the consecration of the Braunschweiger of cathedral to 29. December 1226, the anniversary Thomas Beckets, became this third protection patron of the cathedral. Beside the holy Blasius and Johannes thatTäufer is to be seen Becket then also on the pin seal. With lateRoman painting in choir and transverse house of the cathedral around 1240 - 1250 a scene sequence at the south wall were dedicated to its life.

It is considered as safe that to 7. July 1220 with the translationits Gebeine into the shrine of the Trinity Chapel by Canterbury, Reliquien were taken from the cathedral, in order to hand over these to highranking personalities.

Its grave became from now on the Pilgerstätte. The Canterbury of valley of Geoffrey Chaucer describes a latemedieval Pilgerreise to Beckets grave. In the year 1538 king Heinrich VIII. left. the precious shrine destroy. Also it arranged to burn the body Beckets. In the year 1888 one found a skeleton under the cathedral however, by which it is accepted that it concerns the mortal remnants Thomas Beckets.

Work on []


an important contemporary source over the life Beckets is the 1174 completed verse seal La Vie de Saint Thomas Le Martyr of Guernes de Pont Sainte Maxence. A further French biography wrote 1183 and 1189 a monk between named Benoît de Saint Alban. In addition texts existof Latin writing historians.

literary processing

literary processing of Beckets life are: the novella the holy one of Conrad Ferdinand Meyer as well as the plays murder in the cathedral of T.S. Eliot and Becket or the honour of God of Jean Anouilh, latter 1964 kongenialfilmed of Peter Glenville with smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Burton as Becket and Peter O'Toole as a king Heinrich II. Beckets murder plays also a role in Ken Folletts novel the columns of the earth.


after Thomas Becket are in German-language area the Thomas tower in the Swiss city Basel, the anglikanische church “pc. Thomas's A Becket " in Hamburg, the today's ev. - luth. Parish church and ehem. Stiftskiche pc. Blasii, pc. Johannes Baptist and pc. Thomas Becket in Braunschweig, better admits also than Braunschweiger cathedral, as well as the place sankThomas (the Eifel) designated.

sources and literature

  • Robertson, James C. (Hrsg.): Material for the History OF Thomas Becket, Archbishop OF Canterbury. 7 volumes, roll Series, London 1875-188
  • Duggan, Anne(Hrsg.): The Correspondance OF Thomas Becket Archbishop OF Canterbury 1162-1170. 2 volumes, lat. /engl. Oxford 2000
  • Vollrath, Hanna: Thomas Becket. Höfling and holy. Goettingen, Zurich 2004 (ISBN 3788101555)
  • Sarnowsky, Jürgen: Murder in the cathedral. Thomas Becket 1170. In: Demandt, Alexander (Hrsg.): The assassination attempt in thatHistory. Cologne and others 1996, S. 75-89 (ISBN 3412167959)

Web on the left of

Wikiquote: Thomas Becket - quotations
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| | * Literature of and over Thomas Becket in the catalog of the DDB



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